Keeping Up with the Times  

Posted by Rob Barton in , , , , ,

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The NY Times, in the middle of trying to not go bankrupt and swatting away the scandal of printing a phony letter from the mayor of Paris, has lately turned to launching attacks at Obama in order to regain some of its stature. It's not surprising. From 2000 to 2008, they found good business in bashing Bush. Now that he and any Republican control of Congress is gone, the Times once again is choosing to promote its own agenda rather than focusing on being any kind of fair and balanced.

Oh, the Op/Ed page included the usual schlock from Mo Dowd, but there was another op/ed piece taking potshots at conservatism even though it was disguised as a criticism of Obama:

In what his aides billed as a major economic speech on Thursday, President-elect Barack Obama said that 2009 would “mark a clean break from a troubled past and set a new course for our nation.”

The “clean break” part of the statement seems an apt description for the spending part of Mr. Obama’s emerging, roughly $800 billion recovery package. He has outlined some $500 billion for bolstered unemployment benefits, aid to states and investment in the nation’s crumbling and outdated infrastructure.
But the tax-cut components of the package are hardly a clean break with the Bush years, presuming that is what Mr. Obama meant by the troubled past. To win the support of Republican lawmakers, the package is shaping up to include roughly $150 billion in business tax breaks, even though such breaks are widely recognized as packing very little bang for the buck when it comes to economic stimulus.

The business tax cut talked about here is the $3000 tax credit that a business will receive for spending at least $50,000 to hire a new employee. The writer is correct here. That, coupled with the tax breaks that businesses will undoubtedly receive for green efforts, will have little bang, since businesses will not spend tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to receive a few measly thousands of dollars in tax breaks.

The big thing that I took from that section, though? "Wow, they are comparing Obama to Bush! The Messiah being likened to the anti-christ in the Op/ed page of the NY Slime!"

The article has one more attack on tax cuts, though:
The proposed tax break — up to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for families — makes good sense for low- and middle-income Americans, because the money is likely to be spent quickly, thus boosting demand in a contracting economy. But higher up the income ladder — a couple making $200,000 a year is in the top 9 percent of households — tax cuts are likelier to be saved than spent, providing relatively little stimulus.

Tax breaks for 138 million taxpayers in the amount of $500 is $69 billion. Nine percent of that is $6.2 billion. That means that the plan will put over $63 billion back in the pockets of the american people who make less than $200,000 a year. So sinking $700 billion into banks, the auto industry, and credit card companies is okay. Five hundred billion spent on roads is okay. But try to give the people $69 billion of their own money and that is where the Times draws the line.